Print

Print


Linvi Charles wrote:
> Can a diphthong be formed without a semivowel?  Wouldn't the vowel cluster
> always be more than 1 syllable if both vowels are articulated equally?

It depends on what you consider a semivowel -- I've had languages with 
diphthongs like /eo/ and /oe/, which could be treated as [eo_^], [oe_^], 
etc. You wouldn't call [o_^], [e_^] approximants, but maybe semivowels 
would be an appropriate term. You could use other phonological 
properties to tell if both elements of the diphthong are part of the 
same syllable e.g. if stress can fall on any syllable, but no word ever 
has /e'o/ or /o'e/ (only /'eo/, /'oe/), then treating these sounds as 
diphthongs makes sense.